Monday, August 19, 2013

Letter to Oprah

Dear Oprah-

You are so full of crap.  Trayvon Martin and Cecil Gaines have nothing in common except their skin color.  If you are defining every black person by their skin color then you, yourself, are a racist.  I would have to say that Mr. Gaines did not play the thug life to get where he was as I’m guessing extensive background checks would have eliminated him from the job pool if he had.  Unless you are living in a bubble, which I believe you do, you would have known about T. Martin’s twitter handles and his gangsta wannabe lifestyle, at least as it plays out on social media. 

Yes, I’m white and I pretty much live in a bubble too.  I haven’t had a whole lot of experience with any nationalities, be they black, brown, Asian, German, Australian, whatever.  I had a little experience with an Italian once and it was pleasant, but that’s another story.  My problem is this, and maybe you can figure out an answer or an explanation. 

If a white person (or one who looks white) harms a black person, will they always be wrong?  I feel the media (your playground) portrays that exact sentiment.  If that is the case then we are not all created equal and must defer to a person of color, always. 

I’m tired of paying for other people’s grandparent’s mistakes.  My grands came over from Germany, Ireland and England after slavery was abolished.  I felt guilty for a long time but my family had nothing to do with it.  So why do I have to defer?  Why do I have to feel guilty when I hear about some kid getting gunned down by a white guy?  Why do I immediately have to wonder if it was racially motivated? 

If I was out and being followed and someone attacked me, I would definitely try to open a can of whoop ass on them.  As a matter of fact, several years ago I was in Phoenix and wandering around a little mall when someone seemed to be following a group consisting of me and my three friends.  We had gone out to dinner and were waiting for a cab.  In the meantime a man was eyeing us in a suspicious manner.  Before I had left on this trip I was reminded by my boyfriend that if anyone attacked me to stab them in the belly button with my keys.  He said it would take them right down.  This guy was following us, so I gathered my friends together in a well-lit area and I told them to whip out their keys or a pen from their purses and we would have a chance if this guy attacked.  Then we waited.  And we waited in a way that made this shifty guy finally walk away from us.  We were lucky and so was he, because my adrenaline was going strong and if he had come up to us I would not have had a problem stabbing him, even if he was just looking for change.  He was in my space and suspicious.

And he was white.  And I was afraid.  And I’m sorry, but kids today who choose to look like thugs are going to get treated as such and maybe they will learn from this, but they probably won’t.  White or black, they think it’s cool and badass and they will keep perpetuating stereotypes until video games, musicians, movies and talk show hosts stop glorifying them – black, white, whatever.

I take offense at celebrities and presidents using their influence to get a rise out of the public.  I take offense of the press that did not publicize George Zimmerman helping accident victims.  I take offense of a public that wouldn’t use their heads and realize that there was no dirt on GZ brought out by the press.  If he had skeletons they would have been all over the news, but it wasn’t there. 

It is tragic that a boy was killed.  It is tragic that a mother and father lost a son.  It shouldn’t happen that way.  It is more tragic that the media has latched onto fear and hate and spreads it like butter on the tongues of society and that we like the taste of it so very much.

Figure all that out for me Oprah.  And if you didn’t make that befuddled remark about T. Martin and Cecil Gaines, I apologize.  The press made me do it.
PS:  Bad call with the purse in Switzerland.  I'm sure they wouldn't have shown it to me either.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Superficiality - Guilty or Not? Or Am I Human?

I have to point out that I am spiteful and that I hold a grudge far longer than anyone I know.  That said, I’d like to talk about why.  I’m a loner.  I always have been.  I have only had one best friend at a time, starting when I was five.  I met my first best friend at our neighbor’s chicken coop.  I was watching the chickens while my dad was at the barn getting fresh milk.  This little girl comes up to me (the farmer’s granddaughter) and asks me if I want to be her best friend.  We were inseparable for seven years.  When we entered junior high she became popular and I did not.  She hung out with the cheerleaders and sports groups.  I hung out with nerds and outsiders.  What’s funny is that I never held that against her.  I still smiled and waved to her in the halls, and as we became adults we always spoke when we ran into each other.  She was the best first best friend a girl could ask for.

No, I’m not sure when I started holding grudges but it was definitely after I started dating.  In my senior year I lost my virginity and the guy I lost it to.  My best friend at the time was a geek like me.  Not such a loner (she really didn’t have the dark, sad look that I had and couldn’t pull it off), she had lost her first boyfriend through a tragic car accident.  When my ex asked her out she came to me all excited and asked if it was ok.  I told her that it would be, as long as I didn’t have to hear all the gory details.  She told me all the gory details and I promptly walked away from her- forever.  I tried to get back in touch with her later on just to see how life was treating her but she made her life sound too busy to really give me a straight answer so I never got back to her.

I have held grudges and then let them go.  This includes my brother’s ex-girlfriend.  We did everything together – shopping, partying, clubbing, heart-to-hearts – it was great and I never loved any of my friends like I loved her.  Then she decided to get married, and I was the person she asked to spend her last night as a single girl with.  Then she moved away, started having babies, and made new friends.  Did I resent that?  I guess I did.  We barely spoke and it’s only now, after several years of being back in the neighborhood, do we keep in contact and see each other.

I’ve gone through several jobs in the last couple of years.  Not because I was fired or laid off, but because the pain of going to a job where one’s voice didn’t matter anymore hurt too much and the way staff were treated was abominable.  I had been there for ten years and made some really good friends, or so I thought, until I left and worked elsewhere.  One of my very best friends, yes, I said best, didn’t even show up at my barbeque last year after I had spoken with her two days before to confirm.  At that point she was saying that she would absolutely be there.  She never showed up or called.  At this point I had been gone from that employment for one year.  I had kept in touch with them, visited, emailed, called.  I should have known something wasn’t right the last time I stopped in there.  She sat at her desk while I visited with other staff and she kept her head down.  She wouldn’t even look at me.  I never went back, and a couple weeks later she fired a woman she had worked with for years.

What bothers me is that she didn’t talk to me.  We were such good friends, or at least I thought we were.  I realize that I was no longer part of her work environment but we used to get together to eat once in a while.  We partied at each other’s home, we knew each other’s children, we even took their phone calls if the other was busy.  I don’t know if I did something wrong, or if I offended her in some way.  She took one of my other friends with her (I know this sounds very 8th grade, but it’s how it really happened).  She brought her in to volunteer to cover for the person she fired.  That friend hasn’t really spoken to me since either, just a phone call by me at Thanksgiving.  I had also called her to see if she wanted to scrapbook with me, but she told me she couldn’t afford it, so no, she did not want to go.  She was very short with me and I knew then that I was out of the loop.

I miss my friends.  I miss the camaraderie and the silliness. The other day I realized that I had been un-friended on Facebook.  It was then that I realized that what I was doing in my life no longer mattered to her.  The other friend, the one she took with her, will speak to my boyfriend and ask him for favors, but will not call me or try to engage in conversation when we run into each other.  Not that I do, either.  Work friendships are just that, friends from work.  Once you leave you can’t go back, unless you offer to help out, and I just can’t so I lose.  The only thing is, they do too.

So am I spiteful?  I guess I am.  But I think maybe I’m a little more wary of superficial friends.  If one isn’t true, then I don’t want it.  And I guess they don’t either.


Monday, August 5, 2013

Life is Like A Box of Chocolates

   “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get”, said Forrest Gump’s mama.  She’s right, you don’t.  I worry about a lot of things, but in the end what is going to happen is going to happen.  Yesterday, all afternoon I was harassed by my daughter who wanted me to pick her up and drive her to the store.  In all fairness, if she didn’t live as far away as she does now, and if I hadn’t been so tired, I probably would’ve done it. 

   Now, I’ve been telling people lately that things are getting better. She’s learning the boundaries that I’ve set for her and is abiding by them.  Never in my working life except when she was a young child has she called me less at work.  Then – BANG!  She called me yesterday at least ten times at my office and probably the same on my cell phone.  It’s not like the phone rings constantly here, so the phone ringing as much as it did was noticeable.  I answer the phone so I was ok on that end, but I was just so disappointed and angry that she would do this.  I was hurt that she would think nothing of putting my job in jeopardy for her wants, and it was a want, not a need, no matter how much she phrased things that way.

   I wish I felt good about doing nice things for my daughter.  I wish I could enjoy spending time with her.  I wish I had spent more time disciplining her and not making it up to her that I had left her father and pushed her into a single parent household.  The main reason I did that was because I didn’t want her to see women as something to be pushed around and used, possibly as a punching bag or a money machine.  I left him before she was two.  She’s with someone just like that now.

   I wish I knew her hopes and dreams, and maybe someday when she’s not asking me for something, when we are content to be with each other, when her husband allows her to be alone with me, I can ask her and find out what’s on her mind.  As it is now they latch on to everything they get and see what they can trade it for – for him.  It’s not a happy life for her.  Certainly not the one I envisioned for her when I held her in my arms for the first time.  All of my hopes and dreams for her have shattered and I can only pray that things will get better for her.

   Her path, the one she’s chosen, is the one that hurts her the most.  If she walked the straight and narrow and did things the way she was supposed to she would get to a life she could enjoy without handouts and begging.  At least I think she would.  I just wish she’d try, and I wish he would let her.  ‘Cause she’ll never know, just like that box of chocolates.  I just wish she’d grab one and try it…




Friday, August 2, 2013

Weiner-Spitzer, Anyone???

Is anyone else sick and tired of Anthony Weiner?  I seriously think he gives hot dogs a bad name.  I think either his wife is a really strong person who can deal with just about anything and holds her wedding vows to her heart, or she’s just very stupid.  Either way, just because she believes in her husband is no reason to vote for him.  Spitzer either.  Is it wrong for me to point out the sexual innuendos both names inspire?  Does anyone else see it?  Weiner Spitzer.  They could make a porn movie together for crying out loud.  They could run together on that ticket. 

What’s scary is that they could win.  They could have the best ideas and the best strategies and they still do not deserve to even run.  By being unfaithful and vulgar to their families they have proven that they cannot be trusted in our government.  I only thank God that Bill Clinton had not had access to a cell phone or digital camera, because I like Bill.  I think Bill was good for our country, and that we did pretty well with him.  I’m not so sure I would have liked him very much had I discovered that he had tweeted his goods to Monica or anyone else for that matter.  The fact is, Bill kept things quiet.  He didn’t advertise as Weiner has done, and he didn’t pay for it with taxpayer money like Spitzer did.

Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I expect powerful people to have affairs.  Long hours and extended time periods away from home will do that to a man or woman.  Stress relief is key for them to make good decisions and to be on their best behavior in the public eye.  I’m sure most, if not all, of the great presidents or businessmen had affairs.  I also think they respected their families enough to keep it on the down-low.  That all started to change in the Kennedy era and it’s gone downhill ever since.

I think it’s changed partly because the women these men are cheating with feel entitled to more than being the other woman.  They’ve forgotten their place in this picture, which is the whore.  They believe they need to be respected.  Silly ho’s.  Look at Petraeus.  He did a fine job.  He was good at it.  He protected our country.  He had an affair.  It wasn’t love, it was sex, and it should’ve been kept between him, his wife, and his ho(s).  It shouldn’t have become a national scandal and he shouldn’t have lost his job because of it.  It didn’t affect his job.  Problem was his ho.  She thinks it’s ok for her to hold his balls to the wall, and it probably is – in private.  It shouldn’t become a “story” and the press is just making all of these things worse.

America is quickly losing credibility because we give more weight to stories that don’t matter than those that do.  Here is a list for any self-respecting reporter to use as a guide:

Education – how do we get more people invested in our country’s children?
Fracking – how is it good for the environment?
Government - anything
Mental Illness vs. Gun Violence – Ever think that taking care of folks with MI might take care of a lot of the gun crazies, instead of shutting down mental hospitals?
Animal Abuse and the link to Anyone Abuse
Sex – why do we sell it in print and on TV but refuse to talk about it in public?  Why is it good, but bad?

There are a lot others, but those things could keep our reporters thinking instead of looking for dirt.  I’m guessing any self-respecting reporter wants to report on these things instead of Kim and Kanye’s baby name.  Honestly, I don’t think anyone really cares about them anymore.  They’re has-beens.  Anyone will tell them that once you get married or have a kid on TV the sexual tension is ruined for viewers and you go on the back burner.

So, Mr. Weiner, Mr. Spitzer and all the rest of you cheating liars – I hope the citizens of New York, and the rest of the nation, recognize you for who you are – cheating, lying, womanizers that don’t respect anyone, most of all yourselves.  You are not worthy to park our cars if you worked as a valet.  I wouldn’t trust you with mine and I own a 98 Ford Ranger.  No, you are not worthy. 

It’s democrats like you that are making me consider changing my party to independent and voting conservative.